Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) is a simple, sensitive, rapid and solvent-free technique for the extraction of analytes from gaseous, liquid and solid samples and takes a leading position among microextraction methods. Application of SPME in sample preparation has been increasing continuously over the last decade. It is most often used as an automatized fiber injection system coupled to chromatographic separation modules for the extraction of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds and also allows for the trace analysis of compounds in complex matrices. Since SPME was first introduced in the early 1990s, several modifications have been made to adapt the procedure to specific application requirements. More robust fiber assemblies and coatings with higher extraction efficiencies, selectivity and stability have been commercialized. Automation and on-line coupling to analytical instruments have been achieved in many applications and new derivatization strategies as well as improved calibration procedures have been developed to overcome existing limitations regarding quantitation. Furthermore, devices using tubes, needles or tips for extraction instead of a fiber have been designed. In the field of food analysis, SPME has been most often applied to fruit/vegetables, fats/oils, wine, meat products, dairy and beverages whereas environmental applications focus on the analysis of air, water, soil and sediment samples.
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